by Hauwa Gambo

Obiageli Ezekwesili

The Central Working Committee (CWC) for The Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders has announced that registration closes at 12 noon on Wednesday, March 14 2012.

The Symposium on governance and leadership holds on March 19 & 20 – with the main event taking place on March 19 at the Shell Hall of the Muson Centre, Lagos and the Headline Speaker is Obiageli Ezekwesili, the World Bank Vice-President for Africa. The theme for the Symposium has also been updated to “The Challenge of Responsible Governance: How Can This Generation Do Better?” 

To register, send an email to info@thefuturenigeria.com or go to the website www.thefuturenigeria.com now.

The CWC has also announced this week that there is a Day 2. The second day is a special session hosted by EnoughisEnough (EiE) Nigeria – to review the recent calls across the country for a National Conference and profile the perspectives of young leaders across the country to these calls. Attendance is voluntary for participants.

“Underlying the recent insecurity in the country is the fundamental issue of citizenship vs ‘indigeneship’ and our perceptions of a Nigeria that we take from; not give to,” says ‘Yemi Adamolekun, who is executive director of EiE Nigeria, partners for the Symposium. “This dovetails into calls for a ‘Sovereign National Conference’, ‘National Dialogue’ or any other name to describe a meeting to discuss the rights, responsibilities and privileges of being a Nigerian citizen. The idea of a national dialogue driven by young people has been mooted on two points: (1) our demographic advantage – we should lead any conversation about the Nigeria that we’ll have to live in and (2) we have less baggage than our ‘elders’.”

To ensure that this is not an emotive dialogue, emphasis is being placed on reading and understanding the history that has brought us thus far.

Documents being compiled and that will be available for people to read are:

1) The 1960 Constitution

2) The Willink Commission Report – concerns of ethnic minorities in the lead up to independence

3) The 1963 Constitution (all four – one for federal, one for each region)

4) The alternative constitution authored by Olisa Agbakoba (SAN)

5) Constitutional Amendment Report delivered under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration

6) The Justice Mohammed Uwais Report

7) The Trouble with Nigeria by Chinua Achebe.

“This is only the first of a series of discussions on this and we are grateful to have the platform of The Nigeria Symposium to kick this off,” said Ms. Adamolekun. “Interested participants will be asked to stay behind to discuss what this national dialogue would look like – process of selection, term and key areas of focus or if at all Nigeria needs it.”

To reach the maximum number of Nigerians across the country and outside, the event will be broadcast live online on www.ynaija.com/live and with a recorded broadcast by Channels Television. Discussions can also be monitored on Twitter via the hashtag #TFASymposium.

“Obviously, this is an important, even urgent, conversation to have,” says Kayode Akintemi, who is General Manager in charge of Broadcast Operations for Channels TV. “We are excited to partner with young Nigerian leaders from across the country trying to chart a genuine course for leadership and for governance, and we are hopeful that this is truly a beginning for a more engaged generation.”

The Symposium discussions will be driven by young leaders across the nation and different sectors, but Lead-In speakers include Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Oronto Douglas (Senior Special Assistant to the President on Research, Documentation & Strategy), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi (Honourable Minister of Youth Development), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai (Former Minister of the FCT), amongst others.

The event is presented by The Future Project in association with EnoughisEnough Nigeria. Partners include the World Bank, the International Republican Institute, the Federal Ministry of Youth Development, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, the Ekiti State Government and the Nigeria Leadership Initiative.

Media Partners are Channels TV, Beat FM, LASAA, BellaNaija.com, CP-Africa.com, NigeriaNewsDesk, Business Eye and FAB. Y! (www.ynaija.com) is the Official Media Partner.